This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'The Chancellor's Tax Return'.



 
 
 
Central Policy 
 
 
 
Teresa Chance 
Information Policy and Disclosure 
1C/25 
100 Parliament Street 
 
 
London  SW1A 2BQ 
 
Mr T Turner 
 
 
By email to: 
Phone 
020 7147 3253 
 
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx 
           
 
      
 
  
 
 
Fax 
020 7147 0666 
 
 
  
www.hmrc.gov.uk 
 
Date 
16 April 2012 
 
 
Our ref 
FOI 1568/12  
e-mail  
xxxxxx.xxxxxx@xxxx.xxx.xxx.xx
Your ref 
           
________ 
 
           
           
 
 
Dear Mr Turner, 
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Internal Review 
 
Thank you for your email dated 16 March 2012, in which you requested an internal review of 
your FOI request.  On 22 March 2012, you asked:   
 
I would like to request a copy of Mr Osbourne's most recent tax return, and any information 
from the current tax year that would indicate whether Mr Osbourne has in fact paid the 50p 
rate or not. 
 
In your request for an internal review, you stated: 
 
Section 18 (2)(h) of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 states that 
information can be disclosed if the individual whose data is at issue consents to the 
disclosure. Therefore, if the Chancellor consents to the disclosure of the information, Section 
44 would not apply. Given his recent positive public statements on the publication of the tax 
affairs of senior members of the government, I would have expected Mr Osbourne's consent 
to be solicited. 
      
On this basis, I would like to request an internal review on the basis that Mr Osbourne 
should be asked for his permission. Clearly, if he withholds his permission, the exemption 
would apply. 
      
Having taken advice, I have decided, on this occasion, not to refer this on for a separate 
internal review.  I have addressed below the points you have made but any reviewer would 
be in the same position as I am regarding any customer specific information.  I am satisfied 
that HMRC’s position regarding requests for customer information under FOIA has been 
correctly applied in relation to your request.  HMRC’s view is that s44(2) is engaged for this 
 
Information is available in large print, audio and Braille formats.   
Text Relay service prefix number – 18001  
 
 
FOI 1568 12 T Turner Review
Sue Walton 
   

 
 
 
 
request and we therefore suggest that you make your complaint directly to the Information 
Commissioner if you remain unhappy with our response.   
 
In my response, I explained why HMRC was unable to confirm or deny whether the 
information requested was held.  I also explained that the exceptions to HMRC’s statutory 
duty of confidentiality (set out in s18(2) and (3) of the CRCA) are not taken into 
consideration when information is requested under the FOIA. The absolute prohibition 
against disclosure contained in section 18(1) is the only relevant provision in this regard.  I 
made reference to the amendment to s23 of the CRCA which was introduced in 2009.  I 
have copied this again below.  
   
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2009/pdf/ukpga_20090011_en.pdf 
 
19 Application of statutory provisions 
 
(4) In section 23 of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 (c. 11) 
(freedom of information), after subsection (1) insert— 
“(1A) Subsections (2) and (3) of section 18 are to be disregarded in 
determining for the purposes of subsection (1) of this section whether 
the disclosure of revenue and customs information relating to a person 
is prohibited by subsection (1) of that section.” 
 
You make reference to s18(2)(h) of the CRCA and suggest that, if HMRC had sought and 
obtained the necessary consent, then s44(2) of the FOIA would not apply.  That is not the 
case, as s23(1A) of the CRCA makes clear. 
 
Appeal Process
  
 
As previously advised, if you are not content with the handling of your request under the 
FOIA, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner, who can be contacted at: 
 
 
The Information Commissioner’s Office 
Wycliffe House 
Water Lane 
Wilmslow 
Cheshire 
SK9 5AF 
 
 
Yours sincerely 
 
 
Teresa Chance 
 
 
 
 
       
 
 
 
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